Out and about in SouthportTo mark the start of Summer we took a trip to the Gold Coast to find out what’s going on in one of the sunniest parts of the country and catch up with Kelleigh Hamnett, a Senior Customer Service Representative at Heritage’s brand new Southport Branch. We caught her just in time for their grand opening today (12 December).
So, tell us about the brand new Southport Branch.
It’s one of the new design branches so it’s pretty nice and quite big. We’ve got access to the internet and iPads, so customers can come in to use Heritage Online or we can show them the ins-and-outs of online banking. We’ve got three break-out offices, where we can catch up with customers, open accounts, talk insurance, or basically do anything that’s not transactional based. This makes it so much easier to spend time with our customers in private and away from the noise. We’ve also got a front desk now, so it’s great to be able to have somebody there to meet and greet our customers and show them around the new branch.
I love this location. The centre has been recently updated and there are lots of fun activities happening on weekends, there’s great parking, public transport stops and it’s really easy to get to – we’re just across from The Southport School, so we really are in a good spot.“We are the only bank around here that opens on the weekend so it’s handy for our usual customers and the other businesses in the centre too.”
What’s the vibe around the Gold Coast property market like?
People are generally pretty positive about the property market, especially in light of summer just setting in and many people about to go on holidays. We’ve had a few ups and downs in the last few years, so I think people are feeling a bit more positive all ‘round. It is the perfect time to be house hunting around the Coast as it really is looking its best. We’ve got people looking for family homes, holiday units or houses and investment properties so there’s a real mix around the Coast.
What are the hot topics around the Coast right now?
A major talking point for any Coast local would be development of the new student hospital at Griffith University. The opening has been delayed but locals are keen to see it open mid next year as it will assist with the ongoing health needs of our community and relieve some of the pressures put on other surrounding hospitals.
Excitement is also building for the new light rail which is underway and will eventually connect passengers between the uni, hospital and commercial areas. Supporters believe it will add millions of dollars to the Gold Coast tourism industry and boost our economy with employment and domestic, interstate and international travellers.
Of course Christmas is a hot topic right now! You know Christmas is near when it heats up and the beach is packed. Lots of our customers are having family stay or are travelling so it’s definitely feeling rather festive at the branch right now. We’ve got all of our Christmas Club customers coming in to collect their savings so we’ve been hearing all about their plans over the break.
What are the Southport customers like?
People who live at the Coast love the lifestyle. I mean, how can you beat the gorgeous beaches and beautiful hinterland.
We’ve got a bit of a mix here. This includes young kids and teenagers with their first jobs who come in after school to open their first transaction or savings accounts, families who have home loans with us and there’s also a fair few retirees too. It’s a great mix really, they are a friendly lot and are always up for a chat.
Our customers really like that we are open on Saturday. We are the only bank around here that opens on the weekend so it’s handy for our usual customers and the other businesses in the centre too.
Do you take to the Gold Coast lifestyle once you knock off in the afternoons?
Yes! We love taking our dog for walks along Burleigh – she is our baby at the moment. However, we are expecting to have our first baby in May next year so our weekends are pretty much full of preparations for that right now!
Southport Branch is located at Southport Park Shopping Centre, Benowa Road, Southport.
Thursday: 9:00am- 6:00pm
Phone: 07 5532 6244